Porter looks to retain No. 1 role

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:39 AM ET

Quinton Porter has a firm grip on reality.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats quarterback completed 27 of 32 passes for 429 yards last week in an upset of the Montreal Alouettes, but realizes that doing so again might be asking for too much. The Ticats visit the Alouettes on Monday for a rematch.

"You can't go up from there," Porter said yesterday during a telephone interview. "I can't do that every week."

But Porter also knows that another strong outing could go a long way in solidifying his place as the Ticats' No. 1 quarterback. The 25-year-old Boston College product signed a two-year deal in May to add depth. But five months later, Casey Printers and Richie Williams have been ineffective, and Porter took full advantage in his second CFL start.

There is little to salvage team-wise in a 2008 season that has had another coaching change for the Ticats. They're sitting at 3-11 in the basement of the East Division, and have played in one playoff game since 2001.

But there was Porter evolving into a passing machine against Montreal, a performance that brought him a unanimous selection as the CFL's offensive player of the week. Three of his attempts landed in the hands of Prechae Rodriguez for touchdowns.

Porter spent the final five games of 2006 on the Houston Texans' roster and played in nine games for Cologne of NFL Europe a year ago.

"What's happening to me now is because of 18 years of football, with a lot of ups and downs," Porter said. "I want to be the guy in Hamilton to turn the team around. Well, I should say I want to be a small part of turning it around. But I know we are in a quarterback-driven league and everything is based on what a quarterback does."

With that in mind, can the Tiger-Cats pull off something truly stunning and knock the stuffing out of the Alouettes again on Thanksgiving Day?

"We've given them some things to think about," Porter said. "There are some things we could have done better, some things in the run game that we can improve on. I'm thankful for the chance I am getting."

Meanwhile, Ticats offensive lineman Marwan Hage has teamed up with good buddy Adriano Belli of the Argonauts to provide Thanksgiving meals to 1,000 families in Hamilton. Hage will distribute 1,000 hams, provided by Belli's meat company, Mariposa Meats, along with food boxes provided by FTC Canada on Saturday afternoon in Hamilton.


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